by Stanley R. Sludikoff, Publisher
In the last issue, I explained that there are six different entities that bear responsibility for this sorry state of affairs [Read Part 1]. Because of their current actions, I will skip to Entity No. 2, Alderney. To their credit, Alderney heard the criticism and is now looking into its role in the matter through an investigation conducted by a distinguished English authority.
Let’s hope that this will not be a whitewash of the blame.
There are other small sovereignties that have jumped into this questionable activity, who also need to examine their role and whether it is appropriate to conduct the activities they have chosen to participate in. Some of these have done a better job of regulation than the others. These include: The Isle of Man, Malta, Gibraltar, Antigua, Costa Rica, the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake in Canada, and others. So, why have they done this? Well the answer is obvious; it’s greed. It’s just another way to tax or collect fees, particularly for sovereignties that have little in the way of natural assets.
To start with, none of these entities would even be in the business if it weren’t for the climate in the United States regarding internet gaming. These parties knew that the USA looked askance at internet gaming and would not allow it on US soil, so they saw the opportunity to make money by offering it on their small piece of sovereign soil. Although it may be perfectly legal, it is still in defiance of the USA.
Second, all of these entities do not have the prerequisite skills within their own citizenry to undertake such an occupation. At best they must hire skilled persons from larger nations. But this leaves us with the issue of who is watching the regulators; a person with sovereignty but without expertise ... not a good combination.
As such, we have clearly had inadequate regulations, inadequate regulatory actions, and in many cases, total incompetence. So who is responsible here, and who can insure the accounts of citizens of other entities. Should Alderney and these other sovereignties, in particular the Kahnawake Territory that hosts Absolute Poker/ Ultimate Bet, which have been touched by this scandal, step up to the plate and see that all internet players are made whole?
Well, that’s not going to happen. Even if their conscience bothered them enough to want to participate in straightening out the mess, the amounts involved to do so are beyond the net worth of these sovereigns. In other words, the King’s Treasury doesn’t have enough gold to make amends.
So what can be done? First, there should be an international conference of all nations regarding the internet. Rules should be promulgated to protect consumers and businesses alike. Certain kinds of scams like phishing, hacking, sending infecting viruses, threatening denial of service, and other problems of the net need to be explored and regulations promulgated. All sovereign nations that wish to use the net should be required to agree to those protocols, and to agree to prosecute or extradite any persons in their territory who violate these rules. If a nation fails to comply they should be shut out of the international use of the internet.
All sovereignties that are regulating funds belonging to the citizens of other nations must be required to have a top rated insurance policy equal to or greater than the value of such accounts. All unearned funds must be ring-fenced.
Here’s what Alderney can do to make amends. Call for such a conference and invite the world to attend. Now, little Alderney, show the world just what you are made of. What controls your character? Is it integrity or greed?
Continue onto Part 3